Wendy Davis for governor of Texas? Filibuster leader considers it

WASHINGTON -- Wendy Davis, who garnered national headlines in June for filibustering a controversial bill restricting abortion access, confirmed Monday that she was considering a bid for governor of Texas next year.

Speaking at a packed lunch at the National Press Club here, the Texas state senator announced she would either run for reelection in the Senate or for the governorship of the nation’s second-largest state.

Though she has settled on those two options, Davis said she was still considering what her family and Texas voters want.

A gubernatorial campaign is “a huge task to take on,” she said. “I’m working very hard to decide what my next step will be.”

Since the 11-hour filibuster that made her a national name, political observers have debated extensively whether Davis will be the next Democratic candidate for Texas governor and whether that might be enough to turn the heavily conservative state “purple.” No Democrat has won the governorship in Texas since 1990.

Davis’ wide-ranging remarks at the National Press Club hinted at issues she might address in a potential campaign. She spoke emotionally of the transformative power of education, which elevated her from impoverished single mother to Harvard law graduate, and touted her bipartisan credentials.

She also slammed Republican lawmakers’ anti-abortion efforts, arguing that they jeopardized full-service clinics that are many poor women’s only affordable health care option.

After Davis’ successful filibuster, Gov. Rick Perry called another special legislative session to address several unresolved pieces of legislation including the abortion bill, which ultimately passed last month.

“He showed that he’s completely disconnected from the reality of what’s happening to women in the state of Texas today,” Davis said.

Asked about the famous pink sneakers she wore during the filibuster, Davis said she was wearing them again on runs, “to the horror of a couple of people on my political team.”

“At some point, before they completely fall apart, I will set them aside,” she added. “They will be a memory that I will treasure forever.”

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